Have you ever wondered what animals look like during their pregnancy? Like us, most of these animals sport a pretty big baby bump, and they look totally adorable during the process.
It’s amazing to think that right now, there are countless babies being born across the whole world. While this definitely includes a huge number of human beings, there’s no doubt about the fact that there are even more animals being born. Yes, the world is constantly chopping and changing, and it’s constantly welcoming new additions into the mix. While most of us know that animals do give birth and have children of their own, sometimes we feel pretty far removed from such a magical occasion.
Most of the time, we are too busy going about our own daily lives to think about the animals of the world. Because of this, we are often oblivious to the fact that they are having their young and looking after them until they are ready to go out into the world on their own. So, how would you like a sneak peek into the realm of pregnant animals? These adorable photos show some of the coolest mammas (and one father) just before they become parents.
This cuddly koala
Koalas are pretty adorable, aren’t they? They are cuddly and cute, and it’s safe to say that their joeys are even more cuddly and cute. Although it may look as though this female koala is struggling to cope with the giant bulge around her stomach, the birthing process isn’t too traumatizing for these animals.
That’s because it takes just 35 days of gestation for her to birth her adorable joey, who then immediately makes its way into her pouch to feed. The baby will then stay in the pouch until it is strong enough to go out into the real world, where it will start to stretch its legs and feed itself. After a year by its mother’s side, the joey will then leave her behind and forge its own path.
This giant giraffe
If you’ve ever been pregnant yourself, you’ll know that it’s not the most comfortable of scenarios to be in. You’re constantly tired, and moving your bulging body around to do menial tasks can be difficult. Well, imagine this with four spindly legs to contend with!
Although giraffes are used to be some of the tallest animals in the animal kingdom, pregnancy can cause problems. They struggle to bend down to drink water from the watering holes around them, and then they have the actual delivery to cope with. After a pregnancy of around 15 months, a giraffe will give birth standing up, which means it’s a long way down for the baby.
This sheepish sheep
You’ve probably seen a huge number of sheep in your life, and you may have even come across baby lambs! These adorable babies are normally born during lambing season, but what you might not realize is that the gestation period for sheep isn’t black and white.
That’s because this gestation period switches between breed differences, and various breeds will take longer than others. However, it’s a well-known fact that a pregnancy will last between 142 to 152 days. Lambs then nurse on their mothers for a few weeks before they are then given the chance to fend for themselves. Of course, this does differ if lambs are brought up as part of farming practice.
This monk seal momma
Pregnancy can really take it out of you, so we don’t blame this monk seal momma for taking a little breather and catching a few Z’s on the sand. After all, the average pregnancy of a monk seal will last around 10 to 11 months, and that’s a long time to be carrying a pup that normally weighs around 35 pounds!
Because monk seals are endangered, we can’t help but celebrate when another little one arrives in the water. Lovers of sub-tropical waters, these animals largely reside in the waters of the Hawaiian islands - so keep your eyes peeled if you ever head to the Paradise of the Pacific.
This round raccoon
You’re probably not too familiar with the raccoon, as most people tend to stay away from these animals. However, you can’t deny that this one is pretty cute! Raccoons get pretty huge when they are pregnant, and this is normally because they can carry up to eight little kits in their stomachs.
Thankfully, they don’t have to wait too long to welcome these little ones into their lives, as the gestation period only lasts around 63 days. Once they are born, the mother will stay by their side and make sure that they are perfectly happy and healthy for 8 to 12 weeks before she lets them roam free and do their own thing.
This fabulous ferret
Although they are not the most common or popular pet, many people around the world do have ferrets in their home. Thankfully, it’s not too difficult to spot when your ferret is pregnant. Because they have a relatively thin body, you will be able to see the bulge around their stomach - just like this!
Ferrets reach maturity when they are between 5 months and 9 months old, which means that they can give birth when they are still extremely young themselves. The normal gestation period for a ferret is around six weeks, and it’s important for any surrounding humans to leave the female ferret to it. That’s because it’s a stressful experience for the ferret, and they are prone to eating their young when exposed to stressful circumstances.
This sleek snake
Did you know that some snakes actually give birth to eggs? Yes, just like a bird will wait until their chicks hatch, snakes will tend to their eggs and wait for them to welcome her young. Although it’s sometimes hard to see if a snake is pregnant, because the eggs seem to fit perfectly within her body, these eggs do often protrude.
Snakes are extremely protective of their eggs, even though the gestation period is only around 28 to 45. In that short amount of time, they develop an attachment to the eggs and make sure that they are protected by their leathery shells. When the time comes for the snakes to hatch, they will tear open their shells with their sharp teeth.
This see-through frog
Although this picture may not look real, we can confirm that this is a living and breathing frog! However, it’s not exactly the most natural frog in the world. That’s because this frog was genetically modified by scientists in 2007 to have transparent skin.
Thanks to this see-through skin, the experts could take a look inside the frog and check out its organs and the eggs that sit towards the back of her legs. When a female frog matures, she lays her eggs in the hope that a male will come along and fertilize them. As you probably know, they then become frogspawn, before becoming tadpoles, and then fully-fledged frogs!
This beautiful horse
Horses are extremely beautiful creatures, and it’s amazing to see one with such a prominent baby bump. Unlike many other animals in the animal kingdom, horses only really give birth to one foal at a time - and if you’ve seen a picture of a foal, you’ll understand why!
The gestation period of a horse is around 11 months, and these babies are incredibly strong from the moment they are born. While it may take them a few hours to get up on their spindly legs, they are soon roaming around and feeding on their mother. This continues for around five months before they are eventually weaned.
This pregnant pig
Pigs are often regarded as some of the most intelligent animals in the world, but they are also known for their size. After all, you rarely come across a tiny pig! Thanks to their own size, and the fact that female pigs will often give birth to a little of around 11 piglets, these females can grow to giant sizes.
Because of this, we don’t really blame this lovely lady from having a little lie-down. It must be exhausting to carry so many little ones at the same time. Thankfully, she doesn’t have to do so for too long. The normal gestation period for a pig is around 114 days.
This super adorable squirrel
You’ve probably seen more squirrels than you can count in your life, but have you ever seen a pregnant squirrel? These females normally have a noticeable bump, but one that you can only really spot if you get up close and personal with these animals.
Squirrels normally give birth to two litters of young every single year, but they can only do so when they are in an environment where food is readily available. A squirrel will remain pregnant for 44 days, before giving birth to their kittens and allowing them to feed on her. After around 10 weeks of close interaction with their mother, the kittens will then start to head off on their own.
This chilled-out sloth
Sloths are known for being extremely slow and chilled out creatures, and it’s clear to see that they aren’t too fussed about life in the fast lane. Sloths spend most of their time hanging upside down from trees in the jungle, but some pregnant mammas like to head down to the ground and laze out with their bulging belly in tow.
The gestation period for these animals is the same for the two-toed and three-toed species of sloth and will take them around six months to grow a fully-fledged baby. Unlike many other animals, sloths will only welcome one young at a time and then stay with them for around half a year before letting them live their own lives.
This massive manatee
Whether you know them as manatees or sea cows, there’s no doubt about the fact that these creatures are extremely unique. They stand alone as some of the most incredible animals in the world, but they are also some of the slowest.
Manatees spend their days slowly making their way through shallows waters, where they graze on the plants that lie beneath the surface of the water. Females take a break from their grazing around once every two years to mate, and will then experience a year-long pregnancy. It will then be down to the mother to nurse her babies for around two years before they go off on their own.
This cute cat
Do you have a cat at home? This animal is hugely popular across the world, and there are countless homes across the globe that call themselves the proud owners of this domesticated animal. While most owners try to stop their cats from having too many kittens, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.
What’s amazing about cats is that they can have a litter of five kittens, with each kitten coming from a different father! Because of this, these cats can often look very different. The normal gestation period for a cat is around 2 months, and the kittens will feed on the mother for around 10 weeks before heading out on their own.
This glowing goat
Although goats aren’t known for being the smallest animals in the animal kingdom, there’s no doubt about the fact that this goat is protruding a fair bit! Unlike many other animals in the world, female goats reach maturity fairly on in their lives. They can fall pregnant when they are as young as 15 months old and will go through a pregnancy that will last around 150 days.
Although many goats do welcome one or even three kids into the world, it’s more common for these animals to give birth to twins. Thankfully, the birthing process for a goat is fairly simple. The kid will be born around 30 minutes after she pushes for the first time, and the adorable baby will make its first appearance pretty quickly.
This humongous elephant
Elephants are amazing creatures, and many people make it their mission to witness one of these elephants in the wild at least once in their lives. Although they are already known for their huge size, there’s no doubt about the fact that female elephants get even larger when they are expecting their young.
These elephants reach maturity when they are around 14 years old, and they need to be pretty tough to deal with their gestation period. Yes, elephants are pregnant for a whopping 22 months before they finally give birth! Thanks to their lives in large groups, mamma elephants have the pleasure of going to hunt while the rest of her pack look after her young.
This popping guinea pig
There’s a high chance that you’ve had a guinea pig as a pet over the course of your life, and you might even have one in your house right now! If you have, you might want to keep your eyes peeled for any bulging stomachs, because these animals reach maturity when they are just two months old.
This means that you could have some little guinea pig babies pretty soon, but you’ll probably know before the 59 to 73-day gestational period is over. Yep, your female guinea pig will normally blow up into the size of a coconut, due to the fact that most of these mommas have a large litter of between two and eight piglets.
This meerkat mamma
As you can see, this is one pregnant meerkat mamma! Female meerkats are very young when they reach maturity, and some can fall pregnant when they are just one year old. The gestation period for a meerkat will last around 11 months, and these animals normally welcome three youngsters at a time - meaning that she definitely has her hands full!
Because the mother needs to hunt to provide for her family, she tries to wean her young after the first two months to allow her the chance to venture further from their home. Thankfully, meerkats live in large groups, which means that there is always someone around to look after the babies if the mother goes out for a long period of time.
The mother of all zebras
Most people hope to one day see a zebra in the wild, and if you’re lucky, you might be able to spot a pregnant zebra in the process. It’s not hard to miss these females because their bump is extremely prominent. Although zebras have occasionally been able to welcome multiple babies into the world, it’s more common for them to welcome one baby at a time.
The gestation period will last around 12 to 13 months, and the foal will then fit into the family with ease. They will be cared for by the mother and the other females in the family, before leaving and venturing off on its own when it's around 18 months old.
This huge hippo
The hippopotamus is one of the coolest animals in the world, but it’s also known for being extremely large and often fairly dangerous. Female hippos tend to give birth every two years, which means that they spend a huge amount of their time pregnant. That’s because the gestation period is around eight months.
When the mother feels that her due date is etching ever closer, she decides to remove herself from her herd and to a safe and quiet space where she can welcome her young in pace. The hippo will make her way into shallow waters so her baby can be born in the water, and they will then be weaned off the mother after a year or so.
This super-humped camel
One of the defining features of a camel is the fact that they come complete with a few humps. However, when a female camel finds herself with a baby in tow, she will bear another bump. Alongside this, camels are also known for sometimes being a bit irritable, but can you blame them?
These animals have one of the longest gestation periods within the whole animal kingdom, and will carry their young in their stomachs for a whopping 14 months! Although camels have been known to welcome twins into the world, they almost always give birth to one calf at a time. It won’t take long for these babies to pick their feet up and walk around on their own, which means they are up and about in no time.
This tired panda
This panda looks how we feel every single day, but this lady has a pretty valid excuse! Although you can’t really tell, this panda is actually expecting a little one in her life, and will soon be expanding her brood. Thanks to their large size, it’s sometimes difficult for wildlife experts and zookeepers to know when pandas are pregnant - but it doesn’t take them too long to realize that there’s a tiny little panda by the momma’s side.
The gestation period of a panda normally takes around 95 to 160 days, but they aren’t quite in proportion to their mothers. In fact, baby pandas normally weigh in around 3.2 to 4.6 ounces.
This stunning dolphin
As water-dwelling creatures, it should probably come as no surprise to learn that dolphins also give birth under water. These majestic creatures normally welcome young into their lives every three years or so, because they do have a long gestation period.
Yes, dolphins will endure a pregnancy of around 12 months, and the mother will go through this alone. The same can be said when the young is born, as the mother becomes the sole caregiver and provider for the newborn. For the first three years, the young dolphin will survive off its mother’s milk, before taking the first steps to adulthood and catching its own food.
This mammoth male seahorse
One of the facts most people know about seahorses is that they love to spread the responsibilities between the males and females. In fact, it’s the male seahorses that actually carry their eggs and give birth! After the female transfers her eggs into the pouch of a male seahorse, the daddy seahorse will then carry these for a duration of time that varies between 9 and 45 days.
If you were wondering why the pouch is so full, that’s because the female actually deposits around 100-1,000 eggs at a time! Sadly, only a few of these survive to adulthood, as around 99.95% of them will perish soon after birth.
This full-to-the-brim turtle
Most people don’t get the chance to hang around with turtles on a regular basis, but you might be interested to know that their pregnancy experience is a little different to the rest of the animal kingdom. That’s because they actually lay eggs, rather than giving birth to live young.
This x-ray shows a full-to-the-brim turtle just before she made her way ashore and laid her eggs on the beautiful golden sands of nearby beaches. Instead of leaving these eggs on show for predators to eat or steal, she makes sure that she covers them with the sand to ensure their safety. Then, she leaves them to hatch on their own.
This hefty hedgehog
Many people get the opportunity to spot hedgehogs in the wild, but more and more people are bringing hedgehogs into their home and keeping them as pets. Because of this, we have been able to learn even more about the animal and its pregnancy. What’s unique about baby hedgehogs is that their hoglets are almost always born between the months of June and July.
Most mamma hedgehogs will give birth to around five hoglets after a four and a half week pregnancy, and these tiny little things will latch onto their mother immediately. After gaining their strength through their mother’s milk, the hoglets will start to forage their own food at around four weeks old.
This jaguar mother
Just look at this beauty! If you’re up to date with your jaguar facts, you might know that these animals love to spend time on their own. They go about their days in single file, and will only really come into contact with other jaguars when mating season comes around. After a successful mating period, the female jaguar will carry her cubs for around 100 days before they pop.
Each jaguar is different, but the average number of cubs per mother normally stems between one and four babies. The babies require constant feeding from their mother for the first three months of their life, and then they will start to venture off and catch their own dinner. A few years into their lives, they will leave their mother behind.
This marvelous marmot mother
The groundhog is a member of the marmot family, and there’s no denying the fact that they look pretty bulbous when they are pregnant! This cuddly little marmot mother has a noticeable bump on her, but she doesn’t have to deal with this for too long.
That’s because the gestation period of groundhogs is around 31 to 32 days, where they will welcome between two to six little groundhogs into the world. One these little marmots are born, they will stay alongside their mother for two months before they decide that they have enough strength and confidence to head into the wide world on their own.
This lovely lioness
Lions are often categorized by their strong teeth and their sharp claws, but they go through tough pregnancies just like the rest of us. As you probably know from movies such as The Lion King, lions live in prides, which normally includes a male leader of the pack and then many women by his side. Because of this, one male lion can have cubs with countless lionesses.
A lioness will carry her young for a gestation period of around 108 days, and can sometimes welcome one cub, and sometimes welcome six cubs! While many female cubs get to stake their place in the pride, male cubs are almost always pushed out into the wild on their own.
This pregnant rat
There are many people in this world who are scared of rats, but there are others who believe that they are just misunderstood, creatures. Nevertheless, there’s no doubt about the fact that their pregnancies are pretty impressive. That’s because, although rats only live on this planet for around one year, they give birth to a huge number of babies in the process.
In fact, it’s been noted that rats can produce around 1,250 offspring over the course of their lifetime, thanks to their 23-day gestation period and their large litters. However, human interruption has put these numbers on the chopping block, as many rats’ lives are cut short.
This pregnant orangutan
Orangutans are the closest living animals to the human being, so it should come as no surprise to learn that their gestation period is very similar to that of the human race. Yes, orangutans will experience a pregnancy of around 8 to 9 months and will display a rather prominent bump in the process.
While they almost always give birth to one baby orangutan at a time, there have been rare occasions where they will have multiple babies. Like humans, orangutans take extremely good care of their young and will make sure that they are cared for at all times. When the babies are around 7 years old, it will normally venture off on its own.
This golden goldfish
If you’ve ever had a goldfish, you might have wondered why it never had any babies. Well, there’s a reason for that. Goldfish can’t technically get pregnant, but rather release their eggs into the water and wait for them to be fertilized by the male goldfish.
However, the female goldfish don’t just do this if and when they please. The temperature of the water has to be just right, and they need to make sure that they are perfect conditions for their young. Of course, that doesn’t stop other surrounding goldfish from eating the eggs before they can transform into fully-fledged fry. There are a few eggs that do manage to survive the ordeal.
This tired tiger
Big cats are known for being large, but some tigers take this to the next level when they are getting ready to welcome their cubs into the world. As you can see, this tiger looks pretty tired of carrying around her huge bump all day! Although some tigers do only welcome one cub into the world after a 16-week gestation period, a normal litter will include around three cuddly cubs.
To start with, these cubs are extremely shy and tentative and will cling to their mothers at every opportunity. This is because they are born blind and require a little bit of extra help in their first few weeks. However, they soon come into their own, learn to see, and venture off onto their own.
This adorable dog
Known as human’s best friend, dogs have been in our lives for centuries. They are some of the most popular domesticated animals in the world, just like cats, and make up a huge part of your family. However, most families aren’t too fond of little puppies running amok in their homes.
Many dogs are neutered to stop them from having puppies, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t pregnant dogs roaming around. The gestation period for a dog is around 63 days, and a dog's litter can vary according to the breed and the individual itself. Many females have between 3 and 15 puppies, and they will take a couple of weeks to be weaned.
The bulbous beluga whale
Although there are various different whales in the world, there’s no doubt about the fact that they are special and unique animals that people love to see in the world. Beluga whales are rarely seen in the wild, which means that any new addition is going to excite the human population.
One of the main reasons for this is that female belugas only really give birth every three years, and even then, they only welcome a calf at a time. Known for being amazing to look at, what most people don’t realize is that the gestation period of a beluga whale can take up to 15 months, which means that they get pretty big!